LHC directs Shahbaz to get tested for Covid from Institute of Public Health

Updated 30 Jun 2020

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PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif could not appear before court as he had tested positive for Covid-19. — DawnNewsTV/File
PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif could not appear before court as he had tested positive for Covid-19. — DawnNewsTV/File

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday extended bail of the Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif and directed him to get his Covid-19 test conducted from the Institute of Public Health (IPH).

A two-judge bench comprising Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem and Justice Farooq Haider issued the direction hearing pre-arrest bail petition of Mr Shahbaz in an inquiry of assets beyond means against him by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The high court had first granted the pre-arrest bail to the former chief minister on June 3; however, he failed to personally appear on subsequent hearing as he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

During Monday’s hearing, Advocate Amjad Pervez, the counsel for Shahbaz, told the bench that his client was still in isolation due to the virus. He said Mr Shahbaz, being a cancer patient, showed slow recovery from the pandemic as he still had symptoms after a 14-day quarantine.

However, the bench observed that how the petitioner could be deemed Covid-19 patient in the absence of his latest test report.

To a court’s query, the counsel said Shaukat Khanum and Zeenat laboratories were conducting Covid-19 test in Lahore. However, he said, Shaukat Khanum Laboratory might not feel good to conduct a test on the PML-N president.

NAB prosecutor Faisal Bokhari stated that the petitioner was supposed to get his test conducted on June 25. He further pointed out that the petitioner had not so far signed his surety bonds against the bail granted to him on June 3. He asked the bench to hear arguments from both sides and decide the bail petition in absence of the petitioner.

The bench extended the bail to Mr Shahbaz till July 7 and directed him to get his Covid-19 test conducted from the Institute of Public Health. The bench also allowed the petitioner to sign the bonds on the next hearing.

Published in Dawn, June 30th, 2020